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Fifth Circuit Rules in ADEA Employment Contract Matter

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in an employment matter.

April 12, 2015

(press release: cdklawyers) // Dallas, Texas, United States // Keith Clouse
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in an employment matter. Squyres v. Heico Cos., L.L.C., No. 13-11358 (Apr. 2, 2015), available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/13/13-11358-CV0.pdf.

The plaintiff sold his company and agreed to serve as a vice-president to the purchasing entity under an employment contract. As that contract drew to a close, the company attempted to negotiate a new agreement with the plaintiff. The plaintiff did not accept the company’s final offer, so the company withdrew it and the plaintiff’s employment ended. The plaintiff then sued the company, alleging age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and state law claims. The district court granted summary judgment for the employer.

On appeal, the plaintiff claimed that a genuine issue of material fact existed regarding whether the company’s stated reasons for not renewing his contract were pretextual. The court rejected his arguments. First, the court held that the employer was not required to voluntarily state a reason for its termination decision. Second, the court concluded that no inconsistencies existed in the employer’s explanations for its employment decisions. Third, the court concluded that the plaintiff did not have a right to automatically continue working for the company without a written employment agreement just because other employees worked for the company without written agreements. Finally, the court rejected the plaintiff’s argument regarding stray remarks because the comments did not demonstrate discriminatory animus.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment law attorney, send an email to debra@clousedunn.com or call (214) 239-2705.